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Disney’s Animal Kingdom

When we sat down to plan our trip, we decided to spend six days visiting Disney parks.  Two days for Magic Kingdom, one for Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios, and one spare day to go back wherever we felt needed an extra day of exploring and fun.  Well…  that extra day ended up with us back at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  We absolutely LOVED this park.

For those who have never been, Disney’s Animal Kingdom is like a zoo and an amusement park all rolled into one.  And as far as it’s zoo aspect goes, it’s one like no other.  While there are lots of areas where the animals have their own private enclosures, there are also a plethora of spaces where the animals are free to wander around with a multitude of species all sharing beautifully sculpted landscapes.  It really is quite impressive.  And while I promise to share lots of animal photos at a later date, here are a few of us just taking advantage of some cool photo-ops at the park:

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A full life, a good life.

Tonight is one of those nights where if I were someone who actually planned out their blog posts I might have something to write about.  LOL  But I’m not.  The fact of the matter is that my muse is pulling me in a few different directions and I’m feeling somewhat scattered because of it.

I want to write about the fabulous Father’s Day crafts the girl and I have been working on…  but if either my Dad or hers actually read the post it would ruin the surprise.  I want to write about a MW friend of mine who’s ghost hunting stories got me thinking about all the things out there we don’t really know about.  I want to write more about Skippyjon Jones, and my surprise at how few people I know have heard about this fabulous series of books.  I want to write about the fact that kid-kid is going to be “graduating” from pre-k this month, and what choices we’ve made about our next step.  So… yeah…  kinda being pulled in a few too many directions just now.  😉

Do you ever have one of those days?  When you’ve spent time working on so many different projects, and thinking about so many different things, that you’re just left feeling kinda scattered at the end of it?  The girl and I do so many fabulous things (today we actually drew our own chalk zoo on the sidewalk in front of our house – complete with lion, 2 crocodiles who’s heads we created by tracing our butts and legs, a baby elephant who’s nose is too big for her face, a hippopotamus, a bear wearing blue jeans and loafers, and a bunch of people who came to see them all), and I always have so much on the go that the problem is rarely coming up with something to write about – rather it’s narrowing down to ONE thing to share.

I really do love everything I’m involved in, and the fact of the matter is, I’ve actually cut back a great deal.  I’m no longer the President of the Green Party of Saskatchewan, nor am I associated with Camp fYrefly, and I haven’t been dedicating the time to scrapbooking that I used to.  I’m also done with dog shows (at least for the next month or so – I doubt I’ll ever actually be done with them, I love them too much).  Yet my plate is still happily full.  And of everything I do?  I love the things I do with, or for my daughter the best…  and that includes a LOT of things.  😉

Whenever Lily-Ann and I get talking, I can’t help but emphasize to her how lucky we are…  in so very many ways.  But one of the simplest is that our lives are full of love.  We both have so many people who love us and care about us.  And that is a very big deal.

Yep.  It’s a good life.

The girl, posing on her “sitting rock” on our way to school today.

I love Sundays!

So, because I’m a little ahead in the alphabet blog challenge, I figure I’m taking today to just blog the way I LOVE to blog…  about whatever strikes me as worth sharing.  🙂  And today?  Today, that’s how much I love Sundays.

Sundays are our family day.  It’s often just the three of us, but sometimes we head out with one of my siblings, and this particular Sunday we met up with my Sister-in-law and her daughter – our only niece.  We hit a big children’s consignment sale (where, because it was the last day, a lot of stuff was on for 50% off).  We totally scored, getting five paperback chapter books for a total of $1.50!  And a few cool new outfits for the kid, as well as a pair of adorable orange PJs.  They also had baked goods for sale, so we bought cake pops for all five of us.  😀  Super yummy treat!  Red velvet dipped in white chocolate.  MMMmmmmm….

Next we hit DQ to pick up some Strawberry Lemonade Chillers – one of my favourite drinks.  Frozen lemonade with great big strawberry hunks mixed in?  Sooo tasty!

Then it was off to the Forestry Farm Park and Zoo (but we hit the zoo, then the park).  LOL  Last month we were there almost every weekend, this month we didn’t make it there quite so often…  the lion cubs grow at such a fast rate, it’s been crazy watching them these last months.  I remember when they first brought their parents to the zoo – their daddy was too young to have a mane, and oh what a glorious one he has now.  😉  We got to watch them grow too (but not from quite so young).

The girl was thrilled that the chickens and roosters are now out and about on the grounds.  Of all the wild and amazing animals she can connect with up close and personal at the zoo, one of her favourites to interact with is always the poultry.  Though I can’t say I blame her.  I love them too.  If the city would allow it, we’d have a few hens ourselves – but alas, we aren’t as progressive here in Saskatoon as they are places like Toronto.

I took a short video of the girl checking out the “bock bocks”, along with her cousin (who was far less interested):

After the zoo we hit the playground for a half hour or so.  We then said bu bye to Tabs and Eliana before running to the co-op for some bbq worthy fare…  which Damon grilled up while the girl tore around the yard.

We were thrilled to find Damon had uploaded a copy of the royal wedding to our hard drive, so the girl and I watched it twice in a row before bed.  Oh!  You didn’t know there was a royal wedding recently?  Well jeepers, where have you been dahling?  It was the wedding of the century – Princess Cadence and Shining Armor!  And yes, it was on My Little Pony, Friendship is Magic.  It was a two parter that aired partly on my birthday.  We don’t watch TV on TV, we wait until we can stream it, download it, borrow it, or buy it…  so I’m thrilled we didn’t have to wait too terribly long for this one.  LOL  The girl and I love a pony-fix.  😉

As the second viewing came to an end, it was time for PJs and chapters.  And now my baby is fast asleep beside me.  The perfect way to end a lovely family day.  I really am a lucky mommy.  🙂

the wee girlie, fast asleep

sound asleep

 

And now, as we stand on the precipice of the most interesting leg of the A to Z April Blog Challenge, I have one thing to say:  HELP!

LOL  So yeah…  I could definitely use some title suggestions for U V W X Y Z.  I’ve got a couple ideas, but they’re looking… well…  more creative than I’d like.  If you’ve got something that might work, please let me know.  From here on out I can use all the suggestions I can get.  😉

Night everyone!  Hope your Sundays were as lovely as mine was.

I Love Sundays!

Another fabulous Sunday with the family!  Ever since we started setting aside Sundays to do something special with the family they’ve become awfully wonderful.  And while it’s not always easy coming up with something we all want to do, AND that sticks within a small budget, it’s worth a little work finding things.

Today we headed down to the Saskatoon Farmer’s Market for some early afternoon treats.  Baked goods, home made ice cream, and greenhouse produce – always a hit with our family.  Then we hopped in the car and headed out to the Forestry Farm Park and Zoo for an outdoor adventure.  Because, let’s face it…  taking a four year old and a 17 year old to the zoo together is ALWAYS going to be an adventure.  LMAO  Especially with Damon and I along for the ride.  😉

We made a snowman (yes, at the zoo).  Made a whole row of snow angels.  Had an hour long snowball fight (it lasted nearly the entire time we were there).  Found a huge branch on the ground buried under the snow and made a bunch of wands from it.  We wrote in the snow.  Cast spells on one another.  And giggled at the baby lion cubs as they climbed on their mother.

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Another Wonderful Sunday

Just like last week, I’m left body weary and brain tired after a fabulous Sunday.

Winter Shines is still on, so we headed down to the Saskatoon Farmer’s Market to let the kid go for another pony ride, and to check out the ice castle.  We also listened to my sister’s band, the Sea Hags… but only for a few minutes.  The girl was too excited to just sit and listen to music she can hear almost any time she likes.  After playing on the ice rink – which is mostly melted after the unseasonably warm weather we’ve been having – we headed back into the Farmer’s Market and each picked out a treat again.

Today I stumbled onto the most amazing strawberries and cream shortcake.  My goodness!!!  It was sooo good, sooo rich.  And that flakey pastry top?  Oh my goodness!!!!  It alone was worth the trip to Winter Shines and the Farmer’s Market.  If you haven’t tried this one before, I recommend you get your butt down there and give it a go.  It’s just under $5 for an “individual” sized portion (which was more than I could finish, even if I’d have liked to).  Just head to the South East corner of the building and you’ll find the cafe vendor who makes them.  SOOOO good.

After Winter Shines we headed back to the car – my sister Jewles, the kid, the husband, and I – where our hot chocolates and apple ciders sat in our travel mugs waiting for us.  Just like last week Damon and I did them all up right before leaving so they’d be just the right temperature by the time we were done at the Farmer’s Market.

This week, instead of heading out sledding, we went to the Forestry Farm Zoo.  With temperatures like this, it’s the perfect time to see the animals in action.  In the heat of Summer they’re all lazing about, too hot to do much of anything…  but hovering around zero degrees?  Pretty much everyone is wandering around or playing.  We even caught a glimpse of the two baby lions born a few months ago now.  It was a rare treat!

After we took my youngest sister home, we headed on out to the grocery store where we picked up some BBQ supplies.  And for the first time in a couple months, we fired up the Q.  While I prepped the buns, and the kid played on her swing set (her birthday present last year), Damon cooked the patties.

And to top it all off?  The girl and I started the latest book in the Goddess Girls series, Artemis the Loyal.  Definitely a good start so far (challenging the notion that only the boys can compete in the Olympic Games).  Then, the kid drifted off to dream land – before we’d even finished the first chapter.  Truly the perfect ending to a wonderful day.

Next Sunday is the last day of the Winter Shines festival… think we can make it three amazing Sundays in a row?  I sure intend to try.

Today’s Joy

Wanna know where I found today’s joy?  It was in something unexpected, that I’ll admit started out as a chore.

I host scrapbooking challenges at both PDP and ESS, and I normally love creating things for them.  But the date kinda snuck up on me, and this afternoon I suddenly realized that I needed to have a wordart piece finished, uploaded, a layout built around it, and all of it posted by tomorrow.  ACK!  That’s more stress than fun.  And seeing how my focus is “personal joy”, stress is rather contrary to that in most every possible way.

With this stress hanging over my head I began looking through my photographs hoping for some inspiration to strike.  I find it nearly impossible to create anything worthwhile when it’s forced.  Muse is essential for me in the creative process.

Stumbling upon a series of images I took at the Forestry Farm Park and Zoo back in September, everything started rolling.  And soon I had created, not only a wordart, but an ENTIRE mini-kit.  Even better?  This mini-kit (unlike my first kit) is almost completely created using original elements.  Items created from scratch, by me.  Only a button and a bow were designed using CU products from other designers.  Not too shabby for my second kit.

I have to admit, I’m super excited about this one.  I really do think it’s beautiful.

With my first kit I had a lot of trepidation, and I was concerned about whether anyone would like it, download it, or use it.  This time?  I KNOW it’s a good kit.  I’m very proud of it…  and it all centers around my photography.  This kit was created with heart.  I can’t wait until tomorrow when I can share it with the world.  Until then?  We have to make due with one of the photos that inspired the kit.

Sika Deer

Scraptastic Saturday – What do you think?

Before jumping into all the scraptastic fun…  What do you think?

Do you like the new look?  Any thoughts as to what YOU’d like to see in the title image?  I realize this blog was created to allow my participating in Project 365, but it will continue into the new year.  Sharing my thoughts, rants, photos, and stories has become a regular part of my life, and it’s not something I’m going to give up just because the year has come to an end.  So I really could use some thoughts on what you’d like to see.

Okay…  Scraptastic Saturday.  🙂

I’ve been scrapping like crazy the last couple of weeks.  And this week I got to work with a bunch of new designers…  which is always a treat.  I’ve found several new favourites and I highly encourage you check them all out at Polka Dot Plum.  Lots of gorgeous kits, templates, and other goodies to be found.  And this weekend there are a ton of 50% off sales there too.  So it’s the perfect time to stock up.

There is still time left to jump over to Enchanted Studio Scraps to take part in my definition challenge for November.  The word art I’ve created centers around the word SPECIAL, and it’s perfect for scrapbooking all those wonderful holiday memories from last year.  The download link can be found at ESS in the challenge thread (just look for November’s Definition Challenge).  Hope you’ll play along.

Since Kat (of Kat’s Creations) dissolved her creative team, I’d been on the lookout for a new spot…. and I’ve found it.  When Crystal (of Sugar Pie Scraps) opened her new store at PDP I met a bunch of new scraptastic ladies who are as quirky and as fun as I like to think I am.  LOL  It was a natural fit, and I was thrilled when they accepted me as a member of their creative team.  So now, not only am I a Sugar Pie Chef, but I’m a Sugar Plum too.

I’ve been scrapping layouts featuring my siblings with Lily-Ann.  And I’m proud to say I’ll start to work on the last one on Monday.  They’ve got super smoothly, and I’m really happy with how they’ve all turned out.  I guess the key is to figure out which one to share here today.  LOL  Hmmm….

Okay, you know what?  I’m not going to share any of them.  LMAO

Here’s Lily-Ann with her cousin Eliana:

Lily-Ann and Eliana

Lily-Ann Marie and Eliana Marina

The kit is by Brine Designs and is called Tayla, General Girl.  It’s available over at PDP…  so hop on over there and check out their Black Friday sales (going on all weekend).

Take care everyone, it’s cold out there.

Be good to each other.

Another trip to the zoo…

I don’t know if you’ve noticed or not…  but we spend a lot of time at the zoo.  LOL  We love animals, and there is so much to be learned through up close encounters.  And that includes encounters with domestic species too.

Here is the wee girlie giving a big hug to the Zoo’s resident cat.  She followed us around pretty much everywhere today…  from the children’s zoo to the discovery center to the barn and back again.  Guess she just needed some loving.  🙂

hugs for the Saskatoon Zoo's resident cat

a little love goes a long way

Lily, Damon, Keegan, Rob, and the Bear.

Friends of ours were in town this weekend to spend Thanksgiving with family, and we were happy that most of us were able to make some time today to get together.  The  five of us headed out to the Forestry Farm Park and Zoo.  We were there all afternoon, and time went much too fast.  Between the zoo, the new playground, and the fishing pond, we could have easily spent another couple hours hanging around.

For those of you in Saskatoon who haven’t made it to the new playground at the Forestry Farm yet, now is the time to do so.  There is free admission to the park (not to the zoo, just to the park) until late Spring/early Summer… and with the mild weather, you couldn’t ask for a nicer time to go play.  🙂

With that said, here’s the gang hanging out with a bear.

Damon, Lily, Rob, Keegan, and Pooh.

Sika Deer at the Forestry Farm

We are members of the Saskatoon Zoo Society (I think I’ve mentioned this before).  For $60 a year you get free entrance into the zoo (still have to pay parking at the park)…  so for avid zoo goers like ourselves, it just makes sense.  We like to make it out there once a week.  It’s fun to watch all the babies grow throughout the Summer, and even better to watch how active all the animals become in Autumn and Spring.  We even head out there in the middle of Winter when it’s -35.  Yep.  We’re die-hard zoo goers.  LMAO

Anyway…

The last couple of times we’ve got, the Sika Deer have been very interested in their human visitors.  It’s actually a little odd considering how standoffish they normally are.  But we won’t complain, as it’s given Lily-Ann the chance to be very up close and personal with a species she’d never have the chance to otherwise.  So here she is, feeding one of the yearling deer.

the wee girlie feeding a Sika yearling.

Lily-Ann and the Sika Deer

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